London Saints

Match report: The stuff of legends

By Mark Barber

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The mark of a man is not how often he gets knocked down, but what he does when he gets back up. And, having been taken apart by Bon Accord the previous day, London Saints licked their collective wounds, took heart from the Tobago News that had splashed “Don’t be afraid” across the front page to put on a performance of character against the Tobago Legends at Mount Pleasant.

An overnight deluge that continued through to 8.00am had looked to have put the game in doubt – a possibility that became ever more likely when it was discovered that footballers had used the ground the evening before and had failed to replace the cover on the strip before they left.

Such was the determination of our hosts to give us a game however, with a lot of rolling, a little sunshine and a drying breeze, a strip that had been a mud bath on our arrival was a perfectly good, if a little slow, Caribbean chain come game time.

Reduced to 25 overs, Saints continued the custom of fielding when touring. Harry and Quinny took the new ball and returned both openers to the hutch within their allotted 3-over spell. Flip Flop almost offering the umpire out, such was the intensity of his upheld lbw appeal, and Mayhew taking a skier into the sun at midwicket to further improve young H’s bowling figures.

First change pairing of One Liner (who would like it known that his left hand is really rather painful and that is why he failed to effect the run out off a perfectly good throw over the stumps from the Professor. He would also welcome a show of sympathy from his peers, if it’s not too much to ask) and Hilda kept up the pressure with their respective spells, leaving our hosts reeling on 58 for 6, albeit in a disturbingly relaxed sort of way.

One liner removed the off bail with one that moved off the seam to open with a wicket maiden before Hilda, having seen the effect of Quinny’s appeal, adopted a similar approach to his first wicket which was unfortunate, as being bowled required no decision from the umpire. Disappointment turned to joy when he turned to see the broken castle and the T&T women’s cricketer (retired) heading back to the pavilion. It is possible that the story of Hilda’s dismissal of an international cricketer is one tale we may become familiar with, only time will tell.

Back on the park One liner then removed Speedtwin from behind the stumps with a wild one outside off that he took right on the end of his right thumb – Prof stepping in to perform gloves duty – before claiming a second legitimate dismissal with a slower ball that hit leg. Hilda added to his haul by retiring Horsford for a duck (the only one of the game, YES THE ONLY DUCK IN THE WHOLE GAME) but thankfully without the earlier histrionics.

Having missed the wicket by inches a few balls earlier, Joe then made an early bid for the champagne moment, throwing down the stumps from 40 yards on the angle to dismiss Holden for 5.

Psycho and DT continued the attack with little luck, Slippery Pete opting to protect his lofty position in the bowling figures and Judas missing out on a catch in the deep. The pair were further disadvantaged by the fact that Legends had obviously been tailoring their batting line up, and opting to retire two of their hitters when they reached 25.

With seven overs remaining and 110 on the board, Lucan and White Viv took the cherry. A brilliant low catch by Prof behind the stumps opened Lucan’s account before a bizarre over from Viv also produced a wicket.

Opening with a high no ball, followed by two wides and then a stumping that was patently not out was given by our very own QBH. With One liner bellowing from the stands that he should be recalled, such was the injustice, the batsman (Pollard) politely declined the invitation saying, “with bowling like that, I don’t want to back out there thank you,”and the decision stood.

The rest of the over was unspectacular by comparison, comprising four generous dot balls and a single, bringing Viv’s spell to a close and Judas into the attack.

Lucan grabbed a final wicket before Harry and Judas closed out the innings. Their final four overs going for 34, including a further drop from Slippery Pete and a half chance looping tantalisingly over the Prof’s head.

The Taxman rolled back the years to perform some heroics in the outfield before having to watch a dodgy four, that Quinny swore bounced at right angles to deceive him, and another past luckless Psycho, which prompted a chorus of “are you Quinny in disguise” from the gallery, leaving Saints a chase of 162.

Having dined on the delights of Ah Love It catering, Viv and Judas strode to the crease. Three overs later and with the score on a very respectable 18 and a fat boy three, White Viv returned having been bowled for a solitary run – subsequently disputed, verified and video evidenced before being etched into the permanent record.

Lucan and Judas added a further 15, including fours from both ends, before Johnny G was sublimely taken low at first slip for 18. Legend Redman then claimed The Lord for 11 in his next to end his two-over spell with one maiden, one run and two wickets to his name.

Barry and QEII then held fort for four overs, and just as Barry was looking to break free he was bowled by a straight one from Horsford for 5. The Prof, who got off the mark with a glorious pull through square, and Rat, who managed to coax a fat boy three from QEII, went for 5 and 7 respectively, with QEII starting to hit out more and more as his ability to travel between wickets waned.

With the arrival of DT at the wicket, a couple of further twos and an unscheduled drinks break, QEII called time on his innings and left the field on advice from his cardiologist, having chalked up a tidy 28 that included a memorable straight drive for four.

DT and Quinny darted their respective ways to 14 and 4, before the Saints closed out there 25-over dash with cameo performances from both young Harry, no 185 in the players list and most recent inductee, and Taxman, no 1 the very first name in the scorebook.

Three threes, four twos and a boundary, saw the pair return unbeaten to the hutch, having taken Saints to a very respectable 125. Pride restored.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Having been through due diligence, peer review and a steward’s enquiry, the man of the match was awarded, almost posthumously, to QEII for his efforts in the middle.

CHAMPAGNE MOMENT: On overhearing a comment about how pleasant is was to be playing a team of similarly aged players, Sheena Quinn piped up with, “but I bet they were good in their day.” Harsh but true Mrs Q. The crowds impromptu chant of “are you Quinny in disguise” and the subsequent “are you watching Johnny Quinn,” when Psycho redeemed himself a few balls later. However the winner, by a country mile is dead eye Joe, for his direct hit from distance. Scoring double points when it was later discovered that the chap dismissed, who had looked fairly handy with a bat, was also an Aussie.

SPECIAL MENTION: Rarely has a game been played in such good spirit. The Tobago Legends batted, fielded and bowled only as well as they needed to throughout the game to keep it interesting, but did it in such a generous and good humoured way, so as not to cause affront or appear arrogant. A fantastic game that I’m sure will live long in the memory of those who played and watched it unfold.

The scorecard read:
TOBAGO LEGENDS v LONDON SAINTS at Mount Pleasant, Tobago on Sunday, May 25, 2014

Phillips lbw Quinn 8
Grimshaw c Mayhew b Richardson 5
Yats b Nanton 6
E. Lezama b Berkeley 5
Horsford b Berkeley 0
Smith b Nanton 7
Holder run out Ramdial 5
Sobers retired 25
Kerr retired 25
Abraham c Chalmers b Keenan 11
Pollard st Chalmers b Jones 5
Gilly not out 15
Lorne b Keenan 3
Skeet not out 21
Extras 19
TOTAL 162 for 10 (25 overs)

Richardson 5-0-21-1
Quinn 3-0-14-1
Nanton 3-1-7-2
Berkeley 3-0-28-2
Burrell 3-0-23-0
Thomas 3-0-20-0
Keenan 2-0-18-2
Jones 1-0-6-1
Griffiths 2-0-14-0

Jones b E. Lazama 1
Griffiths c Pollard b Redman 18
Keenan c Horsford b Redman 11
Hotston b Horsford 5
Barber not out (retired) 28
Chalmers lbw G. Lezama 5
Rattle b Collard 7
Thomas b Sobers 14
Quinn run out 4
Richardson not out 15
Shadick not out 9
Extras 8
TOTAL 125 for 8 (25 overs)

E. Lezama 2-0-13-1
Grimshaw 2-0-13-0
Smith 2-0-5-0
Redman 2-1-1-2
Skeet 2-0-10-0
Horsford 2-0-9-1
Yats 2-0-6-0
G. Lezama 2-1-5-1
Collard 3-0-30-1
Kerr 2-0-11-0
Abraham 2-0-11-0
Sobers 2-0-7-1

Tobago Legends won by 37 runs.

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